Music 2 Empower is an initiative by Cygnet Health Care, launched in October 2019, that aims to bring the positive effects of music therapy across our services. Music plays a fundamental part of most people’s lives as it can shape our identity, culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. Many of us listen to music for relaxation and leisure and it can affect people deeply. Harnessing the power of music through therapy can also help people across mental health care settings, where it is used to promote improvements in people’s social relations and connectedness, as well as building confidence and self-esteem. Cygnet’s Expert By Experience lead, Raf Hamaizia said: “With an established and growing body of evidence demonstrating its importance for people experiencing mental ill health, music therapy offers a major opportunity for individuals to put themselves at the heart of their recovery. “I’ve seen first-hand how music can help achieve this, empowering people to address problems rooted in their past, opening up channels of communication and helping people to share their story and talk about their feelings and experiences.” “Through our recovery colleges and therapeutic services, individuals are encouraged to play, write, perform and share music. We are also enabling people to record their music professionally in recording studios and have made short films to showcase the diversity of music and talent we have across Cygnet. Examples of some of the films that have been created so far can be found below.” Ajman – Cygnet Sedgley House and Cygnet Sedgley Lodge A service user at Cygnet Sedgley House and Lodge has written a song and starred in his own rap music video as part of Cygnet’s Music 2 Empower programme. 21-year-old Ajman Idris was able to film a music video for one of his songs, called ‘Lifeless’, with a professional film crew. William – Cygnet Hospital Maidstone Cygnet Hospital Maidstone helped William take part in the ‘Music 2 Empower’ programme. In this four-minute video, as well as performing, William (25), aka Phenomenal K, describes how music has supported him through his recovery. Cray – Cygnet Hospital Blackheath As part of the latest episode of Music 2 Empower we follow the journey of Cray Allen AKA ‘Sloth’, a now discharged service user from Cygnet Hospital Blackheath. In this episode, Cray explains how music has been key in supporting his recovery journey and on his positive experiences at Cygnet Hospital Blackheath. Steven – Ranaich House Steven, a resident at Ranaich House, has always dreamed of a career in television and was delighted to be given the opportunity to create a music video of himself performing the Hello Song, from CBeebies’ Something Special. Richard – Cygnet Oaks The power of music to aide mental health recovery is being used as a creative therapy to help residents at Cygnet Oaks in Barnsley. Resident Richard, AKA ‘DJ 1AM’, has shared his story about how music is supporting him on his personal recovery journey. Andy – Cygnet Hospital Taunton In this emotive and touching piece, Andy details his journey and how music has supported him through what he describes as being “severe depression”. Service Users – Cygnet Aspen Clinic and Cygnet Aspen House As part of the Music 2 Empower programme, women from two Cygnet services, Aspen House and Aspen Clinic, teamed up to rehearse and record a song, meeting every week for teas, coffees and to sing together. DuVonne – Cygnet Hospital Blackheath DuVonne describes his life as ‘a long history and love affair with music’. He began by playing keyboards in church and started to write his own music at the age of 14. A former service user at Cygnet Hospital Blackheath, music has had an important role in his recovery journey and he recalls feeling ‘dazzled’ by the opportunity offered by Cygnet to record his own song in a studio.